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Ch.7 bankruptcy discharged my responsibility to a mortgage co-owned with ex-spouse. Do I need to sue her to get my name off?

Saint Cloud, FL |

My ex and I divorced without specifications about the mortgage we co-own. I remarried and filed Ch.7 bankruptcy; my ex kept the home and continues to make payments. My current wife and I will want to obtain a new mortgage in the upcoming years, but my name is still on the discharged mortgage. Ex is unable to refinance and doesn't want to sell at a loss, what are my options? Do I need to sue her to force her sell?

Attorney Answers 6

  1. If you received a discharge and did not reaffirm then you are already free of the debt. You probably need to either go back to the divorce court for relief or give her come incentive to sell. Looks as though you are out of luck insofar as protecting your credit rating because it will take a ding when the foreclosure happens.

    Posting questions anonymously and receiving general answers do not substitute for consulting with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction in which you live. Answers posted here by Kevin C Gleason are only intended for general education of the public on legal matters. Please consult a qualified professional before deciding what to do about your situation.

  2. Did she agreement in your divorce agreement that she would sell the house? If not, what would you sue her for? However, since your name is still on the house, you may be able to file a "partition action," which is an action to sell property when one co-owner refuses to sell.

    The contents of this answer should be considered friendly advice, not legal advice (I'm a pretty friendly guy), and the answer should not be construed to constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, if you liked this answer as much as my big ego thinks you did, be sure to click the thumbs-up button!

  3. Your personal liability was discharged and I doubt anything is being reported on the credit report now. You could try quit claiming the property to try and get it out of your name, but until the mortgage is paid off or refinanced, your name will remain on there. You might try talking to someone in the mortgage industry now to work on developing a plan to improve your credit score. They may say the current mortgage is really not affecting you.

    The dialogue on this website does not constitute legal advice nor does it form any sort of attorney-client relationship.

  4. I think you are worrying for nothing. if you are working with a mortgage broker who is giving you this kind of advice, find someone else to work with. Or better still, talk to someone at a local nonprofit credit union about requirements to obtain a home mortgage. Although your name is still on the mortgage, it is unlikely that your ex will qualify to refinance it, and why should she? Your obligation under the mortgage is $0. Hope this perspective helps!

  5. (1) As indicated, your personal liability is already discharged!; (2) as a result, no payments are due since your filed bankruptcy and you should order all credit reports to make sure they reflect facts and object to anything on there untrue such as late payments on that mortgage; (3) you should have already obtained 1-2 credit cards and pay monthly food and gas to increase your credit score or post petition secured debts pay timely; We do NOT know when you filed bankruptcy. Normally, it is 2 years after you filed before banks will consider you for a new mortgage. What you should hope for is the house is NOT foreclosed until AFTER your 2 years is up and AFTER you bought a new house and then a foreclosure occurs! I know of no way you can sue her..she did nothing wrong other than keep making payments or later let it go to the bank. However, you might check to see what a deed lieu of foreclosure will do to your credit score vs a foreclosure; if it wont hurt you as bad and you believe it is beneficial, then you might make the following offer: Tell her you will pay up to $3,000 of what ever the mortgage company will not pay her for a deed in lieu of foreclosure to try and get the mortgage company to accept such a deed, and to persuade her to grant such a deed! Good luck..those are my thoughts! Neither of you is at fault in that the house is not worth enough to refinance or her income is not high enough to achieve that!

  6. If the real property was never addressed you may still have an interest in it and/or liability for it. You may have to go to the Family Court for relief or file a Partition in Civil Court depending on what occurred during the divorce. You should sit down with an attorney in your area.

    Answers provide are general in nature. You should always consult a lawyer for an opinion on your legal matters.

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